226626 Trusting the power of “Mana”: Lessons learned in the initial stages of a culturally-based and health equity-focused afterschool program for Pacific Islander high school students

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:12 PM - 1:26 PM

Leafa Taumoepeau , Taulama for Tongans, San Mateo, CA
Kristi Skjerdal, MPH , Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Edith Cabuslay, MPH , Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention, Public Health, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Malissa Netane , Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, San Mateo, CA
Michelle Vilchez , Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, San Mateo, CA
Brian Zamora, REHS, MPH , Director, Community Health, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH, MBA , Health Officer, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Background: Pacific Islander (PI) adolescents in San Mateo County are exhibiting alarming rates of overweight/obesity and low physical fitness levels. A youth survey revealed additional areas of concern: school drop-out rates, academic achievement, and risk-taking behavior, including gang activity. Focus groups with youth and parents point to a need for academic mentorship, increased cultural pride, and improved problem-solving skills so that youth are able to make informed decisions, set goals, and gain the knowledge and skills to achieve their goals. Methods: A collaboration between San Mateo Union School District, San Mateo County Health System, Taulama for Tongans, City of San Mateo Police Department, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Pacific Islander families, and community-based organizations was developed to implement an after-school program for Pacific Islander youth and their families in one high school in San Mateo County. Expected program outcomes include: increased grade point averages, graduation and college entry rates; decreased youth involvement in risky behavior, increased parent involvement in student lives; increased youth understanding of PI culture; increased skills in goal setting, problem-solving, and developing healthy relationships; and improved parent-child communication. Discussion: Trust is a unifying and basic factor in the development and implementation of a culturally-based, health equity-focused after-school program for PI high school youth, their families, school and project staff, and the broader community. Specific cultural aspects of the intervention present opportunities and challenges for community-based collaboration and program implementation. Initial lessons learned extend beyond PI community to other community-based health equity initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe at least two challenges and two successes encountered during program implementation. 2) Discuss the importance of developing trust for the initiation and continuation of collaborative community-based health equity programs.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am executive director of Taulama for Tongans, the main organization advancing the health and welfare needs of Pacific Islanders in the community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.